How does Modelo redefine the standard of Project Delivery

This months marks the two year anniversary of Modelo’s first product Modelo DAM (Digital Asset Management), which was launched out of beta at the AIA convention in April 2017.

In just two years DAM has achieved record-high usage, as of this month, we have:

Thanks to our strategic partners, our users and our community members, Modelo DAM has achieved the following progress:

Let our users tell their story of using Modelo and how it has improved their communication and workflow efficiency:

In just two years time Modelo has grown from a single-product start-up to a SaaS company that provides tailored and data-centric solutions serving the entire building cycle from design, construction, to facility managment. Our customer base has expanded into all stake-holders in the building industry from investment, design, construction, to facility magement, and our products cover integrated design asset management, to BIM, BI and AI technologies. Here is Modelo’s current product roadmap.

View Revit Files Online

View BIM properties and elements from Revit in 3D

How do you view a Revit file if you don’t have Revit installed on your computer? Or when you don’t have the correct version of Revit installed. Look no further, Modelo’s new support for Revit will save you thousands of dollars every year on maintaining Revit licenses.

Simply drag and drop your Revit files into Modelo’s upload window, you would be able to view the 3D design and all the 3D element’s BIM information right in your browser.

You can search families and types. The searched elements will be highlights to give you a quick count of the items.

Revit BIM data to Excel

There are many ways to download Revit schedules to excel but do you know the element properties can also be downloaded as an excel document? Having these properties downloaded into excel you can quickly make quantitative analysis that helps you make the right business decisions.

And the best part of this is – You don’t even need to maintain a Revit license to do it! Simply upload the file to Modelo, and we will convert the 3D file into a data sheet that can be downloaded with a simple click. No installation required, no Revit license required.  You can save thousands of dollars on software licensing fees every year.

Step 1 – Drag and Drop your Revit file into Modelo, we support Revit 2015 to 2019.

Step 2 – Open Share Tool Bar and click to “Download BIM Data”.

View, Collaborate, and Markup 3D BIM Properties & Elements from Revit

Modelo supports your complete design-build-manage process by with a robust, collaborative online BIM tool. Modelo automatically imports BIM properties and elements from compatible Revit files. By predictably, productively and profitably connecting workflows, utilizing BIM in Modelo permits team members to more completely navigate models, conduct lightning fast 3D quantity takeoff calculations and analyze sectional material volumes, mark-up the design with their comments, and digitize their construction sites and processes – all in an online tool accessible from any device.

Collaborating on Building Information Modeling projects is made easy in Modelo. The online 3D BIM tool allows users to quickly calculate the volume of materials required, construction costs, or any other number of construction-related calculations. These estimates can then be recorded and shared through Modelo and any construction issues that are foreseen in the design can be marked up directly on the design in the browser and addressed prior to construction beginning.

For those asking ‘What is BIM?’, or Building Information Modeling, it is a 3D model-based process that gives AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) professionals a wealth of information to intelligently plan, design, construct, and manage infrastructure and building projects. Put simply, BIM digitizes the design-build-manage process so that professionals throughout the entire lifecycle are working more effectively and proficiently handing over documentation.

To see Modelo’s collaborative 3D BIM software tool in action, take a moment to check out the overview video below:

BIM elements and properties are automatically imported into Modelo from applicable Revit models. To access the BIM information, simply click the BIM button in Modelo’s toolbar. From there, under ‘Project Browser’, it is a simple case of clicking your desired ‘Selection Sets’ to view detailed information on a design’s components including the area, volume, length, location and other important details.

Helpfully, there is a search bar, which you can use to quickly find any component in the design.

Using BIM in Modelo is available as an add-on feature for Modelo Business customers. To upgrade or purchase BIM, please contact Modelo on or call +1 (617) 945-8692.

Register for a Free Modelo Account

Real-time Architectural Plug-in for Revit | Modelo

In this post, we will explain the value of the real-time architectural plug-in for Revit in Modelo. The Modelo Revit exporter plug-in enables the user working in Revit to upload any 3D model they have open directly into a specified project and folder in Modelo within seconds. All of your materials associated with the 3D model such as project assets, views, scenes, layers and textures automatically upload into Modelo faster than anything else in the market, in a very seamless way.

At its core, Revit is designed for modeling, which is an individual behavior. The software is not meant for communication, collaboration, storage, management, or anything else besides 3D modeling. This type of behavior does not apply to the full start-to-finish collaborative process that makes up the design process.

Which brings us to ask the question, how do you like viewing 3D models in Revit? Do you ever feel the pain of waiting several minutes for your Revit model to load? Do you feel the pain of waiting as you spin your large model? What are the possibilities if you, as a designer, could spend less time waiting for a model to load and more time focusing on design? Why spend valuable time waiting when you can easily use Modelo to view your 3D model?

Modelo consolidates your file to the point where it is easily loaded and runs faster than any other software in the market. With the time it takes to load and view your 3D model in Revit, you and your team could have made 10 comments, dropped a few waypoints to create an animated walkthrough, marked-up the design, and emailed a URL link of one of your views with your client. All of this work and feedback is shared automatically in real-time to your team.

Modelo can be used at all stages of the design process. Say you are working on a 50-story building and you have the first story done in Revit. The typical process is to print that out, pin the views on the wall, call the team over and mark it up. Now you can export that first floor file with all the views to your team to then be commented on from anywhere, whether it be at their desk, from their phone or on an iPad. Feedback is delivered in a much faster way through the communication aspect of Modelo.

By using the Modelo Revit plug-in you automatically improve efficiency, improve your workflow, save time, and gain business innovation. From a Principal’s standpoint, what would this mean for your ROI? From a Designer’s standpoint, what would having more time to design and collaborate mean for the quality of your work? With Modelo you have unlimited possibilities. Upload your model from Revit to Modelo today and create a FREE forever account!

Life after BIM: Why we need BIC-Building Integrated Collaboration & BIP-Building Immersive Presentation

Life after BIM: Why we need BIC-Building Integrated Collaboration & BIP-Building Immersive Presentation

The concept of Building Information Modeling (BIM) has driven an important new trend in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) Industry that makes it comparable to the influence of Computer Aided Design (CAD) decades ago. As we all know, CAD has brought tremendous efficiency to us as architects and the adoption of BIM has been essential to bringing organized building information and a transparent definition of the building from architects to consultants.

Building information modeling — Image courtesy of Lloyd’s Register

Building Information Modeling is the core concept of Revit, as well as ArchiCAD and VectorWorks. This is different from the previous generation of 3D modeling, or CAD software. Revit is famous for its parametrically controllable modeling method and rich geometry metadata (building information) integration. Traditionally, a 3D model is a combination of 3D geometries with some associated textures, colors etc. But with Revit, you not only have the luxury of changing the parameters of different parts of the design dynamically (and the whole design will adjust based on that), but you can also attach accurate building/material data into the geometries. Since all these data are based on real manufacturer information, at the end of this modeling process, the final outcome can carry tremendous amount of information of the final designed building, which can be used to guide engineering, construction and building management. This is an extremely powerful tool to keep track of the thousands of components in the building that ultimately have to be purchased or constructed and installed. However, the concept of BIM, as powerful as it is, does not solve all the problems of the building industry.

So what’s wrong?

Well, the problem is the word “Modeling.” No matter if it’s Revit, ArchiCAD or VectorWorks, they are all essentially modeling tools. To achieve BIM’s goal of a full building life cycle coverage, one tool simply cannot do it all. In other words, BIM is a term for modeling. It’s a brilliant concept of taking advantage of the modeling process to lay the foundation for the other processes: building management, communication between stakeholders, even providing materials for building sales, but the nature of these processes are so fundamentally different that a modeling tool can’t contain them all.

If we look at a building’s life cycle: from planning to design, engineering, construction and then sales and management. The major participants change pretty dynamically: from the owner, to architect, to engineer, to contractor and sub-contractor, then to building sales team and management team. Out of all these people, only a fraction of them are in direct touch with the modeling software, the others may not know how to use a 3D modeling software or simply don’t want to allocate the time or budget for it. But at the end of the day, they are all working on the building, meaning that they need the building’s information and they need to communicate with others about all the information. It’s important to never underestimate how many issues a building can have if you are not in this industry. This is the problem.

We have all the information in the BIM software, but most of the people involved in the building process don’t have the software to access to it.

No matter how fabulous a full BIM adoption sounds, it’s a rather misleading statement if the information cannot intuitively be passed to the other stakeholders. In other words, besides the disruption of modeling, we also need to rethink about our communication process.

The age of hand sketching every drawing has long passed, however, even with all the amazing cloud-based platforms like Dropbox, Slack and Trello in the market, the AEC industry is still stuck with the old fashion ways of communicating. The reason is apparent, none of the existing platforms can directly deal with our major digital production-3D models, meaning that even if we want to use Slack, we will probably still end up pasting screenshots in the chatting channel and then others need to download, mark-up and re-paste it back again. Our communication is all based in three-dimensional context.

But in recent years, several things have happened: WebGL (the API for web-browser to render 3D geometries) was first released in 2011, then got well adopted since 2014. Modern browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge got introduced and well adopted to the new technology. The improvement of the JavaScript ecosystem has made cross-platform development even easier than before. Mobile devices have hit a historical popularity in both personal and professional life. The performance of the new iPhone7 can outrun that of many laptop computers. VR&AR are rising again due to the improvement of hardware performance. All in all, everything is pointing to the AEC industry to change.

Our industry is made up of multi-disciplinary teams that collaborate and communicate with each other at various phases of a project. Every team’s productivity can be significantly improved with web-enabled communication. This is something BIM as an information modeling term cannot fully fulfill, and we believe the concept should better be broken down into three terms that fit how we work:

  1. BIM: Building Information Modeling (local). It happens during the design and engineering phase, where a building model is constructed.
  2. BIC: Building Integrated Communication (cloud). It takes information from the complex 3D model into one integrated place where every stakeholder can easily access, communicate and get feedback instantly.
  3. BIP: Building Interactive/Immersive Presentation (cross-platform). Our digital production is already in 3D, why are we still wasting time to convert everything to 2D drawings and present them in the most un-comprehensible manner to our non-architect clients? With VR and emerging 3D technology becoming more affordable, the industry will benefit dramatically from using the most intuitive and immersive presentation methods.

These three terms are categorized for different groups of stakeholders involved in the process. BIM is for those who do 3D modeling or have the need of direct editing 3D models. BIC is for the everyone involved in the design-build process to exchange information more efficiently. BIP is for owners and building buyers who are not directly involved in the design-build process, but need information to make certain decisions. All together, they can cover all the stakeholders in the building life cycle.

BIM+BIC+BIP can also be interpreted as creating information + communicating information + presenting information. It is a customized workflow that enables architects to effectively communicate with clients and other professionals, thus increases productivity for all stakeholders.

The building industry is complex and hard to evolve. Sometimes the need for change isn’t always initiated from the inner circle, but it needs to be grounded with an insider’s perspective. This is why we started Modelo as architects and designers ourselves: to create tools that better serve all of us.

Again, instead of just BIM, a cycle of BIM+BIC+BIP using a combination of BIM software, Modelo, and other technologies will promote a healthy evolution in the industry.

*Modelo is a web based platform that helps architects, engineers and general contractors better communicate and present their 3D building design.